The Beginner's Guide to Wearing Colour

If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know I am a neutrals girl through and through. However sometimes even I go a bit cray on the weekend and whip out Viva Glam Miley just because! Today I'm sharing with you my top tips and products for fellow neutral-lovers who are looking to have a bit of fun and dip their toe into the scary world of colour *gasp*.

Start with Lips

Aside from nails (do they really count?) your lips are probably the easiest way of introducing a little colour. For me the thought of colourful eyeshadow struck fear into my heart, but lips were something I was a little more comfortable experimenting with.

Sheer Colour

The most subtle way to wear colour on your lips is to choose a sheer formula. Mattes are pigmented and intense, and they can be a little high-maintenance. If you don't wear colour much, you want something that isn't going to leave you feeling self-conscious. 

If you want something that's wearable on a day-to-day basis then Clinique have some lovely options. Personally I think the Chubby Stick Intense Moisturising Lip Colour Balm in Roomiest Rose (£17) and Colour Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Plum Pop (£16) are a great place to start. Roomiest Rose is a gorgeous deep pink that's sheer enough to be low-key but the formula (which is more pigmented than the standard Chubby Sticks) means you get a nice wash of colour. Plum Pop is a pretty pinky-purple colour that's one step more opaque and perfect for spring.

Feeling Confident? Go Matte

If you feel comfortable with a sheer formulation: congratulations, it's time to graduate to mattes! We're still keeping it nice and wearable but a matte finish gives you a bolder, more colourful look.

I have two more options here: the MAC Matte Lipstick in Tropic Tonic (£15.50) and the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Ibiza (£5.50 - post). Tropic Tonic is a vibrant coral that still seems to be muted enough not to be scary! Ibiza is a gorgeous pink colour that's vibrant but still wearable on an everyday basis. Both of these are nice and creamy in formula and won't make a mess, which is usually a big concern for me when I'm choosing a colourful lip.

Dialling Up Your Usual

A low-key way to introduce some colour when it comes to the cheeks is to look at what you would usually wear and dial it up a little. Here I've picked a pinky peach, because it's one of those sorts of shades that suits most people. Swap your muted nude-peach for something similar but more vibrant.

I think the Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in Ginger Pop (£17) fits the bill perfectly. The formula is really easy to work with; it's slightly highlighting and very creamy so won't make you look like a clown or anything like that. You can just subtly build the colour as you prefer. The shade itself is that perfect peachy-pink but really vibrant and it's one of my favourites for summer.

Matte Coral Cheeks

If you want to step it up a little you can go for a more vibrant colour and pick a matte formulation.

For this it has to be the Zoeva Coral Spectrum Blush Palette* (£15 - post). There is actually one shimmer shade in the top left of this palette but the others are vibrant mattes. I chose this for the colours but also for the formulation as it's very creamy and although these are super-pigmented, they still blend out really nicely. I also like that there's a nude coral in here because if you want to tone down either of the two vibrant mattes, you can simply mix a little of this in with them.

Coloured Liner

It's time to go for the jugular: eyes! Adding a coloured liner into the mix is easy-peasy. Just go for your usual gold or taupe across the lid then add in an easy-to-wear eyeliner colour like turquoise. 

My top picks here are the Pur Cosmetics Double Ego Dual Ended Eyeliner in Queensland* (£14) and KIKO Double Dare Eyeshadow & Eyeliner in 05 Gold & Teal* (£7.90). Queensland has a liquid pen end and a more traditional crayon. Both have thin, precise tips that give you a lot of control. Use the pen to do a winged liner look or if you don't want to go all the way do your usual wing in black then use this to do a little double wing above it. The formula is super long-wearing so you don't need to worry about it smudging throughout the day. Use the crayon on the upper lash line and smudge it out for a smoky look. With Gold and Teal I like to blend the bright gold cream eyeshadow (which is as long-lasting and creamy in texture as all of KIKO's shadow sticks) across the lid, use a black felt liner to do my wing and then use the creamy-textured teal on my waterline to add the subtle pop of colour underneath my eye.

Nude Eyes with a Pop of Colour in the Crease

This is such a nice, subtle way to wear colour and one I feel like you can get away with even on a workday. I tend to go for a bronzy-gold lid colour with a pink or purple in the crease.

For this I've chosen the palette that started my dalliance with colour on the eyes: the Zoeva Cocoa Blend Eyeshadow Palette (£15.50 - post). I go for the bright gold Pure Ganache as a highlight, the warm caramel brown matte Substitute for Love in the crease and the bronze-brown Subtle Blend on the outer v. I then take the deep pink shimmer Warm Notes on a pointed blending brush and add it into the crease. It really gives that something extra to the look and takes a standard nude eye to the next level.

Plummy Tones

Purple tones really bridge the gap between neutrals and colours, which makes them perfect for beginners. 

I like to use my Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pans in Cinderella, Unexpected and Bitten (£4.95 each - post) for this sort of look. Cinderella is a pinky-nude shimmer that works great as a lid colour. I then blend Unexpected, a lilac-taupe matte, through the crease before adding the pop of colour. For that I like to use Bitten, which is a gorgeous deep wine-toned matte, on the outer v. Again I chose these because they're very easy to work with; Bitten is creamy and blends effortlessly, which is so important with a bolder colour.

Oranges and Reds

The final step on the road to colour is experimenting with orange, red and gold tones. I find these relatively easy to wear as they're really only one step further than your super-warm neutrals.

I've gone with my Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadow Pan in Magic Act (£7.95) and my Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pans in Morocco and Goddess (£4.95 - post). Magic Act is a new addition I'm really pleased with; it's a gorgeous bright gold with a super-shimmery, dewy finish that I wear as a highlight and on the inner part of the lid. Morocco is a vibrant burnt orange matte that can be blended into the crease effortlessly. Goddess is a terracotta-red with a subtle shimmer that blend onto the outer part of my eyelid.

What are your favourite products and top tips for introducing a little colour into your makeup look?


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  1. The Makeup Geek eyeshadows looks amazing so pigmented!! Need a palette

    Beauty Candy Loves

  2. I find that because I have very blue eyes, coloured shadow looks a little odd on me (the most I can really go is smokey or rose gold tones). However I am virtually always wearing lipstick, quite often a bold one. I'm the one who goes to lectures in MAC's Lady Danger! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

  3. The clinique plum pop looks so pretty :) I am all about the sheer and easy to wear colours hehe. You have a nice selection here~ Its spring soon so hopefully I can get some colour in!

    Great post, Have a lovely day! ♥

    Ying | * Y i n g c b e a u t y *

    X x X x X

    1. Yeah it's a nice way to switch up your makeup for the new season - have a lovely day too, glad you enjoyed this :) xx

  4. So happy to read it ,and i love this post

    BettyCook www.dreamydressshop.com

  5. These are a really nice tips! Thank you for sharing!

    Tuki | Selene Addicted

  6. Lovely picks! I love adding a little bit of colour at this time of the year and usually, I also start with the lips! As for the eyes, I love experimenting with reds and golds as well because,as you said, they aren't that different to neutrals so I still feel confident wearing them!


  7. Haha, as soon as I saw your first photograph I was like "ooooh colour" as I'm so used to your neutrals and AW shades :D! Completely love this post! I can't wait to bring out the matte brights again and am a big fan of navy liner :)

    Style Sunrise☀


  8. Such a nicely written post& idea! The thoughts of wearing any other colour other than black for eyeliner still scares me actually!


    1. Haha it's actually so subtle - you should try it :) xx

  9. I adore wearing colours especially this time of year. Warm Notes looks like such a gorgeous shade x

    Darling Jordan

  10. Oooh, I want Plum Pop & NYX Ibiza! Gorgeous! I agree that it's good to start with a bold lip xx


  11. I love the idea behind this post. It's definitely trick for makeup newbies who want to kick up the makeup wearing a notch or too.


  12. The title of this post really scared me because as you know I'm a neutral girl too! Hahahaha! But I was brave and here I am. Ginger Pop looks incredible! I've been using Maybelline Metallic Pomegranate a lot recently which is quite similar I think to that Zoeva shade and it always makes me feel like I'm super over-colourful lol!
    Sal UmmBabyBeauty

    1. I need to get using Metallic Pomegranate again :) and lol I'm the same cray-zy! xx

  13. Great post - I am loving all the clinique shades! As I was looking at the swatches, I was instantly attracted to literally every clinique shade you posted, haha.


  14. Ugh I'm terrible with eye shadows too thats why I prefer experimenting with lips or blushers. This post is so helpful for a gal who's rubbish as incorporating colour into her makeup routine! x


  15. I'm a neutral person too! Although I hope some day I'll be a little bit braver and wear something a bit mor bolder. I never really used to wear blush because I was so used to a simple look but have been experimenting different colours on my cheeks and those shades are lovely! x http://coffeeatmidnight13.blogspot.co.uk/

  16. I really love how you laid out this post! Gorgeous color selection and brand choices, I'm dying to try the Clinque color pops! Thanks for sharing, it was very helpful.


  17. Those Clinique lipsticks are going on my shopping list stat! I love experimenting with colour, it's so much fun. Love using those plummy tones on the eyes in winter. Maybelline's Colour Tattoo in Metallic Pomegranate is perfect for that xx

    1. I definitely need to play around with Metallic Pomegranate :) xx

  18. I like to use dark coloured eyeshadows like navy and plum as liner. Makes a nice change from the usual black!
    Philippa x

  19. Love to use a coloured liner, it really brightens your eyes. If I'm really going for it I'll use a matching coloured mascara too! Benefit They're Real do a blue, green, plum and brown and I love them all!


  20. Awesome post, great timing for spring. Need to liven up my makeup!


  21. Blush and sometimes lipstick are really the only way I add colour into my makeup I think! I even shy away from neutrals that are a little too warm for my liking never mind other colours haha! Love them on other people though but just can't bring myself to wear them! Obsessed with looking at MUG swatches!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

  22. What a great idea for a post. I'm a bit scared of colour I think! Definitely got my eye on the Clinique blush and the Zoeva palette. I want so many of the Zoeva palettes, they all look fab!

    Kirstie | Behind The Scent

  23. Really beautiful selection! Color eyeshadow and i do not get along, but i love incorporating a fun color on the lips when i can. I just don't think i have the skin tone for most color.


  24. I am a neutral girl and I suck at introducing colour to my makup routine, except cheeks and lips! It has been a long time since I've worn colourful eye makeup. Since Spring is around the corner, I will try to lean towards pastel colours, I hope I manage to change my makeup routine. x

    Ela BellaWorld

  25. Wearing colour can be such a fantastic thing i love a bit of blue on the waterliner it can just make a look pop


  26. As you know I love experimenting with colourful looks :) I agree that for those who are a bit scared of colour bright lipstick, colourful eye liner or a bit of colour in the crease can make a big difference to the whole look. x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

  27. I've actually started wearing more color, too. I recently picked up a green cream eyeshadow from Charlotte Tilbury, which is more of an earth-y toned green so it's still more on the neutral side of color (if that makes any sense haha). Also the colors in that Zoeva palette look beautiful!


  28. This is such a fun post, and quite useful for neutral lovers like me ^_^
    I never thought to add a pop of colour in the crease! Such a good idea, I'll have to try it hehe. My favourite way to add colour to the eyes is along the waterline, it's crazy how much a green shade will bring out the brown in my eyes! *heart emoji* hehe

    Iqra | The Blushing Giraffe

  29. I've just started getting somewhat comfortable with a bold lip haha. I'm a neutral girl too!! Great post :)


  30. I am loving that Zoeva cocoa palette, and love the colours in it. What a great post. I am into colour, but usually wear browns and golden neutral on my eyelids, so I will experiment with more colour. Thanks so much for sharing. /Madison
    Paris Street Style

  31. I love the Clinique Intense chubby sticks! I have mightiest maraschino which is bright red but it can be toned down pretty easily. I've always been a bit afraid of bright blush but I'm willing to give a purple or teal eyeliner a try! x


  32. I loooove NYX Ibiza, it is such a gorgeous shade!! Added to my wishlist! Thank you :)


  33. WOW!! your makeup collection is huge!

  34. There are so many colors here that I think I would like to try! I'm like this too...more a neutrals girl but I want to start incorporating more colors into my makeup:)



  35. For me if i'm going to add a pop of colour I go for eye shadow I love MUG bitten and chickadee is another favourite for adding colour. I also love dark green eye shadow xx


  36. I've got the Zoeva Cocoa Blend palette, too.
    I'm going to try your colour combination---hadn't thought of colour in the crease.


  37. This is such an amazing post! So helpful and informative! I do love a pop of color!
    Fix Me In Forty Five - A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog
    Blog Lovin' // Instagram

  38. Such a well sorted and written post, thoroughly enjoyed reading it. But I have to say you got me drooling over that Zoeva palette.. Every time I come to your blog I end up adding something to the shopping cart :| lol

    Sam || Beautydetour

  39. I thought I was bold until I saw Mac Tropic Tonic! It scares me a little!! I can deal with lipsticks and blush but I still haven't got the courage for shadows/liner. I have a similar one to the Teal Kiko one but rarely break it out. Going to try tomorrow! x

    Tamz | http://www.throughneweyesx.com

  40. As a fellow neutral lover, I definitely need to be coaxed into wearing more colour so thank you for this post :) Tropic Tonic is a colour I'd never normally go near, but it looks beaut and so perfect for the summer!

    Claire | Stylingo.co.uk xx

  41. Such lovely colors you chose! I usually do a bold lip when wanting to add a pop of color.


  42. Everytime you do a swatch post my money runs out of my purse! I love the gold in that cocoblends palette! MUST!. I try to like being bold, but quite often I will make things bold by just upping the intensity.. highlighter and gold glitter on eyes. Cause I get scared of bold lips (mainly cause I have a tash lol)


    1. Cocoa Blend is stunning! I'm sure you'd love it! xx

  43. I think lips are definitely the easiest place to start! Coloured liner scared the hell out of me at first but now is my absolute favourite.

    Jodie @ Jodetopia x

  44. I definitely started wearing colour with coloured eyeliner, then eyeshadow. Most people start wearing lipstick first, that actually came last with me! I'm still not too adventurous with my lip colours though, I'd rather go all out with the eyeshadow!

    Love, Charline | Charline Has a Blog

  45. Fab post lovely, I completely agree with starting with your lips as that’s exactly what I did :) Ginger Pop looks like such a stunning shade - will need to check this out next time I’m in Debenhams :)

    Charlee XO | CharmedCharlee

  46. Thank you for your comments- hope you found this interesting! xx


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